The Council has heard reports of limited loss of animal herds or flocks.

“Since the majority of livestock and poultry farms are located near Japan’s mountain side (west side of Japan), minimal animal loss is expected from the tsunami. However, logistics of fuels, feed and products continue to be a problem for those farms,” said Hiroko Sakashita, USGC associate director in Japan, adding the Council anticipates knowing the total impact in a few weeks. “In addition, some animal production was affected as facilities had to be evacuated due to elevated radiation levels. This market may further be affected by negative perceptions and false information on their products.”

Exposure to radiation will remain a longer-term concern. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries released a notice alerting livestock farmers to be cautious and not to feed radioactive-material-contaminated hay, roughage, silage and water to livestock. It recommends that farmers keep their animals indoors if possible. According to Council sources, feed millers in Hokkaido, Chukyo, Kansai and Kyushu have been working around the clock to ensure that sufficient supply of animal feed is available in the damaged area.

“The Council is searching for the best opportunity to get involved with the relief efforts in Japan. Mostly what we hear is to wait, since much of the relief is being provided by the Japanese government,” Hamamoto said. “The Council will continue to monitor the recovery efforts and determine how to best utilize our resources and assets to help mitigate long term damage.”